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Darrach family papers

Call Number: MS 167

Scope and Contents

The material in this collection is centered around James Darrach (1806-1889) for the period 1810-1880 and Mary (Darrach) Craig (1839-1907) and her family for the period 1880-1908.

The bulk of the collection consists of family correspondence, along with a number of diaries, account books, school essays and lectures, and miscellaneous documents. James Darrach was born in Philadelphia and educated at Yale (1827). After a number of rather unsuccessful years in business and farming, he established an academy in Fishkill, NY, which he headed until 1855 when he obtained the post of Superintendent of the New York Hospital, a position he held until 1864. There are several diaries concerning his life at Yale, and many letters, essays, and lectures, and other material concerning his years as academy principal and hospital administrator. In 1830 he married Helena White. There are about fifty letters from their eldest son Bartow, concerning his stay in Illinois (1847-1849) and his medical studies in Philadelphia (1849-1852). There are a number of letters to him while he practiced in Kansas during the crisis of 1855-1856. There are numerous letters from another son, William, telling of life as a student at Yale (1855-1859), Princeton Theological Seminary, and as a small town minister. There are also a number of letters from a protege of James Darrach, Thomas Raftory, who attended Phillips Academy, Andover and Princeton from 1856 to 1865. After 1880, the bulk of the material is concerned with Mary (Darrach) Craig, James Darrach's eldest daughter, and her family. There are numerous letters written during two European tours (1887-1888 and 1902-1903), as well as letters from tours of the Midwest and California during the same period. There are also a number of genealogical studies of the Darrach, Craig, and White familes.


  • 1810-1908


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lindley Eberstadt, 1957.


5 Linear Feet (13 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, diaries, record books, school essays, lectures, and other papers of James Darrach, 1806-1889, who established an academy in Fishkill, NY, and from 1855 to 1864 served as superintendent of the New York Hospital. Correspondents include Darrach's wife, Helena White Darrach, and his sons Bartow and William. Additional correspondence is from Mary Darrach Craig, James Darrach, Thomas Raftery, and members of the Craig family. Bartow Darrach is represented by 125 letters to members of his family concerning his medical career in private practice and as a Union Army surgeon during the Civil War. The papers contain material relating to the social history of Quincy, Illinois where he resided from 1859 to 1861; medical procedures used in the army; and the Vicksburg campaign.

Biographical / Historical

JAMES DARRACH, son of James and Elizabeth (Bradford) Darrach, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 27, 1806.

After graduation he learned the business of a woolen manufacturer at a factory in the village of Glenham, in Fishkill, N. Y., and engaged with his brother in this business in Manayunk, Pa. The hard times of 1836-1837 led to reverses, in consequence of which he left manufacturing in July, 1837, and for the next year was engaged in teaching in Walden, Orange County, N.Y. He was then employed as superintendent of the manufactory where he had learned his business, until in November, 1840, he settled on a farm near Walden. There he was engaged in teaching in an academy which he founded, and in insurance business, until December, 1854, when he was chosen superintendent of the New York Hospital on Broadway, opposite Pearl street. He remained in this position until December, 1864. The rest of his life was spent on his farm near Walden, and with his children. His health was much broken for two years before his death; in the fall of 1888 he settled in Fishkill-on-the Hudson, where he died after a painful illness on May 15, 1889, aged nearly 83 years.

He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, both in Manayunk and New York City (Rev. Dr. Spring's); he was instrumental in the organization and building up of several churches, and always active in promoting the social and moral improvement of the communities in which he lived.

He was married on April 22, 1830, to Helena, eldest daughter of the Hon. Barlow White, M.D., of Fishkill Village, who survives him, with four of their nine children; of the three surviving sons, one is a graduate of this College in the Class of 1859.

* * * * *

WILLIAM BRADFORD DARRACH, the son of James Darrach (B.A. Yale, 1827) and Helena (White) Darrach, and grandson of James and Elizabeth (Bradford) Darrach, was born September 23, 1836, in Manayunk, Pa., where his father was a woolen manufacturer. Owing to business reverses in 1837 his father removed to Walden, N. Y., and later to Glenham, a village in Fishkill, N. Y., but from 1854 to 1864 he was Superintendent of the New York Hospital, in New York City, from whence our classmate entered college early in 1855 with the Class of 1858. In September of the same year he joined the Class of 1859.

After graduation he studied theology in Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1861. He was appointed, May 8, 1861, Chaplain of the Twentieth New York State Militia, and served until the following August. He was ordained as an evangelist by the Presbytery of New York, October 17, 1862, and was Stated Supply of the Presbyterian Church at Winneconne, Wis., 1863-1865; Missionary at Barnegat, N. J., 1865-1866; Stated Supply at Upper Mount Bethel, Pa., 1868-1871; Pastor at Shickshinny, Pa., 1871-1876; Stated Supply at Orwell, Pa., 1876-1877, at Lehman and North Moreland, Pa., 1878-1879, and at Scott, Pa., 1880-1881; without charge at Walden, N. Y., 1882-1889, except during 1886 when he was Pastor of the Reformed (Dutch) Church at Kerhonkson, N. Y.; without charge at Fishkill, N. Y., 1890-1893; Stated Supply of the Presbyterian Church at Mount Pleasant, Pa., 1894, and without charge at Newark, N. J., 1895 Since 1896, with the exception of the years 1900-1904, when he was at Ambler, Pa., he had resided at Newburgh, N. Y. He had not preached since 1904, the receipt of some legacies having placed him in easier circumstances, and during the later years of his life he had found occupation in selling books new and old, while at Ambler, Pa., and at Newburgh, N. Y.

He died of heart disease, at Newburgh, July 23, 1909, in the seventy-third year of his age. He was never married.

from the Yale Obituary Record.

Guide to the Darrach Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
September 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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